Overview & Outline

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (SB57) has been modified and signed into law effective January 1, 2016. There are terminology changes that affect Children First Foundation if the litigation originates in Illinois on or after this date. Previous Terms: Custody or Joint Custody (replaced by Parental Responsibilities or Joint Custody); Visitation (replaced by Parenting Time); and Custody Judgements or Joint Custody Judgements (replaced by Parenting Plan). Any of these "previous terms” should be replaced by only Illinois residents when reading/using content on this web site (including the online parenting class). This announcement refers to no other web site users.

Overview & Outline

This Internet version of the Children First Parenting Education Class will only be accepted by your judge if you have been given an exception to use it instead of attending the classes in your county. You are responsible for knowing this. Children First Foundation holds no liability for your enrollment into this Internet class if your ordering judge will not accept the Internet certificate. PLEASE DO NOT REGISTER UNTIL YOU ARE CERTAIN THE JUDGE WILL ACCEPT THIS VERSION OF THE CHILDREN FIRST CLASS! The final certificate states that this class was completed on the Internet

Illinois Residents. In order to be aware of the few times Illinois SB 57 legal terminology has changed in our class, please print out the handout pages as a reference.  The changes will be noted by a gavel icon at the bottom of appropriate Power Point slides.  If you do not note these changes, you may not understand directions given during your court proceedings.

Handout for Session 1 - Handout for Session 2

Session One Outline

I. Introduction and Instructions

A. Introduction
B. Housekeeping
C. History and Purpose of Children First
D. Goals for the Program and Session
E. Handout for Session 1
F. Basic Needs of Children
G. Pre-Test

II. Taking Care of Yourself

A. Introduction
B. Meet Danice - How can you identify with Danice?
C. Coping Styles - How could you handle this problem?
D. Managing the Stress of Divorce - Practice the problem-solving steps
E. Develop a Support Network - Take care of your health
F. Danice: 1 Year Later

III. What Your Children Need and How You Can Help

A. Introduction
B. Infants
C. Toddlers
D. Preschoolers
E. Early Elementary
F. Preteens
G. Teenagers

IV. Answering Questions Your Children Have About Divorce

A. Introduction
B. Talking with Your Children
C. Why Are You Getting a Divorce
D. General Guidelines for Answering Questions
F. Have You Ever Been Stumped?
G. Specific Questions

a. Is it my fault you got divorced?
b. Do you still love me?
c. Are we ever going to be a family again?
d. Will we be a family again if I am a perfect kid?
e. Who will I live with?
f. Thinking ahead
g. Will I go to the same school?
h. What should I tell my friends?
i. Do I have to go to Mom's house?

V. Conflict Resolution

A. Introduction
B. About Conflict Resolution
C. What Not to Do
D. How to Stay in Control During Conflict
E. How to Communicate Better
F. How to Listen Better
G. Steps of Negotiation
H. Ask for Help if You Need It
I. Mediation

End of Session 1

A. Plan for Session 2
B. Session 1 Post-Test

Session Two Outline

I. Facilitator Introduction

II. Common Problems and How to Avoid Them

A. Badmouthing Other Parent
B. Using Children to Get Information on the Other Parent
C. Sending or Receiving Messages through Children
D. Discussing Financial Matters with Your Children
E. Talking about Personal Information with Children
F. Fighting in Front of Children
G. Competing for Loyalty

III. Moving Forward After Divorce

IV. Post-Test - Program Evaluation - Satisfaction Survey

Last modified: Wednesday, August 3, 2016, 1:33 PM